British holidaymakers are routinely turning up at airports without their passports causing holiday headaches before they have even seen an inflight menu.
A new study from Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance reveals that 1.4m holidaymakers have forgotten their crucial travel documents before leaving the UK. In fact Britons admit they are more likely to check their holiday destination weather than their passport the week before they travel (64% vs 52%). Sainsbury’s Bank is urging holidaymakers to make sure they have all the relevant documents before they leave home as travel insurance policies do not typically cover forgotten passports. If you’ve lost your passport, you can still apply for a second passport.
A further 2.7m people have seen dream trips turn to disaster by missing flights at the start of their holiday. With the study finding 2.3m people also go away without travel insurance, holidaymakers need to spend time planning ahead to ensure their getaways get off to a flying start.
Holiday hazards lead to people feeling stressed (47%) and upset (31%) and one in 10 (11%) admitted they felt like they had ruined their holiday.
Preparation is key to minimising stress at the security gate. More than a third (36%) of people do as much online preparation as possible and prepare everything in advance (32%). And nearly one in 10 (8%) holidaymakers turn to calming activities such as meditation to combat travel trauma.
Karen Hogg, head of insurance at Sainsbury’s Bank said, “Holidays should mean a break from the stress of everyday life. Making sure you have all of your travel documents in place, and with you when you leave the house is as important as having good quality travel insurance in place. It’s worth noting that insurers are unlikely to cover you if you’ve left your passport at home.
“With recent issues such as flight disruption at airports and adverse weather conditions in parts of Europe, you may want to ensure that your travel insurance policy provides disruption cover, particularly if you have connecting flights. We offer a range of insurance policies to cover different travel needs.”
Students are guilty of leaving planning to the last minute and are most likely to miss flights and leave their travel documents behind (10%). Families typically make it to their destination stress-free but are more likely to leave valuables such as medicine and jewellery at home (8%).
Sainsbury’s Bank offers five top tips on travel preparation:
- Schedule a diary reminder: Write on your wall calendar or put in a diary reminder in your phone to check all travel documents at least a couple of weeks before you travel.
- Locate your passport: It’s easy to put your passport in a ‘safe place’ and forget where it is. Don’t get caught and check your passport before you pack your suitcase. Don’t forget many countries need a visa such as an ESTA if you’re going to the States and you will need to have at least six months remaining on your passport for many countries. If your passport is damaged you may also be refused travel.
- Check cover for travel disruption: Check your travel insurance policy covers for any unforeseen changes to your holiday plans, such as being unable to get home due to poor weather.
- Consider weather woes and more: Make sure you leave in plenty of time to get to the airport, especially in adverse weather conditions. You should also check if your travel insurance policy covers you missing a flight as a result. If you’re heading to the slopes this year, check your travel insurance has winter sports cover and also covers weather delays, road closures and lift passes.
- Create a checklist: Holidays can be stress-free with a good checklist. Create a to-do list at least a week before you travel so you don’t leave anything you need behind.